Every time I interview a Fiverr Pro it's a rich and rewarding experience and this time the magic happened again. I went to knock on the door of a social media expert, known under the username of thebrandninja. Ready to get some very useful social media tips? Let's dig into it.
Welcome and thank you very much for accepting this interview. For those who don’t know you, can you give us a little background about yourself and what you offer on Fiverr?
Hi! I'm Aven, an experienced digital marketing and advertising professional with 15+ years of experience in brand development, digital marketing, advertising, social media and content creation. I have a background working for some of Australia's leading and award-winning digital agencies where I developed marketing and digital strategies and executions for companies such as Toyota, Lexus, The Commonwealth Bank, Nestle AU, Nikon, McDonalds, Clinique, The Sydney Opera House, etc.
I specialize in the core expertise required to succeed in today’s highly competitive online market and I combine strong corporate experience as a marketing professional at director level and an entrepreneur focused on performance to build successful online marketing strategies and executions.
Generally speaking, people make it sound very simple suggesting to just post a few times on Facebook or Twitter and the traffic will come in, but the reality is very different. What’s the main reason why most people fail to generate significant traffic from social media?
All social networks and reaching audiences takes time - it takes time to build rapport with a new relationship in the real world and the same applies to social media. What happens is that people get discouraged quickly (or have too many high expectations) about their social media and give up too soon. Social media is a long game - you've got to be in it for the long run to win it. Another reason is a lack of consistency. It's important to stick to regular posting every week so your intended audience gets to know your brand better and sees you often on the networks. If you want to be popular, you've got to be out there, often!
Obviously getting more traffic is the first benefit of getting a good social media strategy from you, but are there other ways my business will continue to benefit? Social media is more about building a perception rather than generating high traffic. Traffic is great, but you won't be able to convert it into sales if you're not perceived as a credible, trusted, must-have brand. This is why having a social media strategy and a brand tone of voice is so important. It helps you create a plan for how your brand will be perceived and how you'll speak to your audience, and also how regularly. As well as having a great product/service, this is by far the most important factor in building loyal, buying fans.
The foundation of any online strategy is to first understand who your target audience is. In the case of a client who doesn’t have a website and traffic yet, how do you proceed in order to define a target persona and the reasons why they use social media? Is there any work a buyer can do before reaching out to you?
I actually prefer to define a client's audience BEFORE they have a website or traffic or public brand. The truth is, without an audience-first marketing approach, every aspect of marketing is going to cost more time and money. If you don't know your target audience, your marketing efforts are unlikely to reach your ideal customer and you're going to waste your money. Many marketers fear taking an audience-first marketing approach as they falsely believe it's more costly, complicated and will slow them down. When done right it can actually turbocharge your results. When you define who you're after upfront, you can target ads, content and messages where you want them to the people that need them, when they need them.
The right kind of content certainly depends on the networks of choice. What are the best content types to increase reach and drive engagement on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for instance?
Video is being hailed as the now and next big thing. According to Mark Zuckerberg, video is the future and he's shifted Facebook's entire focus onto video over the last few years to compete with YouTube and Snapchat. For business owners and entrepreneurs, video doesn't have to be expensive and overwrought. You can create simple, stylish and yet authentic videos that can engage with audiences right from your living room. To find out more, contact me!
Sharing content without any followers has no logic. What do you suggest to someone who is starting from scratch on getting followers so you can plan their social media strategy?
It's really a chicken and egg approach. You have to publish content even if you have zero followers and you have to reach out to followers even if you've just launched your content strategy. I lean though towards having great content upfront - great blog articles, photography, updates, opinion pieces, commentary, etc., and then using the power of social media promotion, consistency and SEO to get people's attention. If done well, you'll start seeing engagement in due time, which will turn into loyal fans. Remember though, it all takes time. Don't expect overnight success, but expect success overnight (after a season of real sacrifice, effort and hard work!
As Aven has repeated throughout this interview several times, social media marketing needs time and constant effort. As with any other inbound marketing strategy, it's a long game - you need to put effort and dedication into it, and forget about shortcuts. There’s also something else that’s very important, which is the marketing persona. I can never emphasize this point enough, but it's extremely important that you define and identify your ideal target customer well before you launch your online marketing activities. Otherwise, you might run the risk of spreading the wrong message, to the wrong people via the wrong channels. Do you have any particular social media strategy with which you’ve had success and wish to share? Got some questions you would like Aven to answer? Please feel free to submit your questions or leave your answers here below.